HIDING THE FAITH
Do you have "liberal" or "modernist" friends? Or non-Catholic friends or co-workers? When they come to your office (if a co-worker) or to your home, are you tempted to hide some of your more obvious items that point towards your embrace of Catholicism, in order to avoid "offending" this strange person? If so...is this person more important than God to you? Are you ashamed of your heritage?
What's WRONG with you?
If you're Catholic, and you embrace our faith, then EMBRACE it! People throughout the centuries have DIED for what you love...and you're willing to put it in a closet in order to avoid "offending" someone you may not even know in a year's time? Or fear this person may reject you or your positions because you believe in Petrine Primacy as established by Christ our Savior, and you believe in the Virgin Birth and that the Bible reveals both the Christ of history AND the Christ of Faith???? Quit being such a wuss! If you claim to be Catholic....LIVE IT! Live it to the degree that you're willing to DIE for it as did your ancestors in the Faith!
I don't know what is is with nature lately. Just yesterday when I was yacking with a co-worker in the hallway at work (a church), a bat meandered (and by that I mean...dive-bombed) through the hallway in the middle of the afternoon. Apparently he had insomnia. And he wasn't a fan of the open fire doors, so flew towards the school then doubled back a couple times, swooping at our heads.
I let out my own "WOOP!" as I jammed the key into the lock of our office door, which I'd inadvertantly forgotten to leave open. With great regret. Ironically, I'd read an article yesterday, the day of the event, about the preponderance of bats in August, and the need, in any actual contact, to be tested for rabies. Not desiring to be tested for rabies or jammed with multiple needles, I knelt on the floor as I fumbled with the lock, laughing hysterically as I remembered my last "bat hunt" when I was working security at a University. That, incidentally, was followed by yelling directions at a confused squirrel that had wandered into Heffron Hall....
And today...a nasty spider made an appearance on my desk as I was eating my luncheon salad. It was black and had two racing stripes down either side of its body, and it was really FAST! I tried to kill it with a bad magazine featuring bad vestments on the cover (a good use for the magazine, actually), but that little thing went under the desk. No WAY was I going to sit down, so I peered underneath, trying to see the spider so I could smash it into oblivion.
It was teasing me. It appeared...and disappeared, over and over again. I was peering underneath again, and the thing crawled on the edge, near my forehead, causing me to screech (for about the 3rd time), a completely involuntary reaction, as my boss the DRE yelled at me to kill the darned thing already. And she was talking to the head Custodian, who must certainly have been doubled-over laughing at the noises I was making.
Well, they don't realize that the spider disappeared SO FAST that I thought it might well have transferred itself in a single bound onto my head...and the idea made me want to prefer to die than suffer that!
But I saw it and I smashed it and instantly felt better for having committed the murder most foul. Or justified....I vote for justified. That spider TOYED with me!
And then so did my co-workers. My DRE, the boss, suggested that I can expect at some point in the future to have a remote-controlled spider dangle over my head attached to a fishing line,while I work unsuspectingly and in tranquility at my desk or somewhere else.
I assured her I'd quit with no notice should such threat take place. I think she was kidding.
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN, TOO
So, after all that trauma, a cool thing also happened today. A local Hawthorne Dominican recently came to speak for us, and she did a wonderful job, and she and I somehow spoke about books and Padre Pio and other things. (Dominicans are SO COOL!!) Well, she was going to send me a book.
Today I received a package, and found not that book but a St. Dominic card with a message from her explaining the book that she DID find...one called "Quiet Moments with Padre Pio."
What an incredible book! It's filled with short meditations, things that he said or things stated about him from those who were close to him. And all that I read today is relevant to me...this book is a true gift, not just from Sister, but from Padre Pio as well.
I leave you with the blessed and profound words of the Saint himself:
SAFE IN THE DIVINE ARMS:
- April 23, 1918 letter to Erminia Gargani
Do not anticipate the problems of this life with the apprehension, but rather with a perfect hope that God, to whom you belong, will free you from them
accordingly. He has defended you up to now. Simply hold on tightly to the hand of his divine prividence and he will help you in all events, and when you are unable to walk, he will lead you.
Why should you fear when you belong to this God who strongly assured us: "We know that in everything God works for the good with those who love him"? Don't think about tomorrow's events, because the same Heavenly Father who takes care of you today will do the same tomorrow and forever.
Live tranquilly, [removing] from your imagination that which upsets you and often say to our Lord: Oh God, you are my God and I will trust in you. You will assist me and be my refuge, and I will fear nothing because not only are you with him, but you are in him and he is within you. What can a child fear in the arms of its father?
Incredible, how he can speak so profoundly to me through such a random event and person. I'm constantly amazed at how this simple Franciscan chooses to speak to me through Dominican and other messengers, answering my latest concerns, my latest prayers, and my truest desires.
God is good. God desires our good. And when we are desperate to hear His voice...he speaks, but never as we expect.